I stumbled across this really fascinating discussion by Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie about Chabad in Russia and Ukraine. You get a little bit of news about their revival after Communism, struggling to build ties between communities despite the watchful eye of the KGB, and, interesting for me two rivalries — 1. between Chabad and Mossad, and 2. between Chabad and Western Jewish Lobbies.
4:30 – Underground network run by Chabad superior to Mossad’s.
5:00 – Same division of Mossad that integrated with Chabad’s underground network, is the one whhich ran Jonathan Pollard in the US.
7:30 – Chabad system was a huge secret to Jews of America and Mossad as well.
13:00 – Ari Fleisher (Bush Administration) Connection.
16:00 to 17:00 – How Chabad U.S. prepared their man for a trip to Russia to build ties with Jewish community despite KGB interference.
24:15 – Finding people with common surnames in Russia and Israel to get family out of Russia using “family re-unification” rule.
34:30 – Chabad anticipated fall of communism just three weeks after Gorbachov became leader of the Soviet Union. They began preparing for the emigration of Jews from Russia. When Gorbachev heard the story he said “how could they have known when I didn’t know.”
38:30 – Sending people to the big cities in Ukraine and Russia – Moscow, St Peterburg, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv.
42:00 – Description of influence in Dnipropetrovsk.
45:30 – “Putin may not be good for Russia, but he’s definitely good for the Jews of Russia.”
48:20 – Putin bought an apartment for a teacher in Israel whom he apparently knew during childhood.
51:30 – Probably between half a million and a million Jews in Russia.
56:20 – Argument that Jackson Vanic Amendment that didn’t help Jews leave the Soviet Union.
57:10 – Russia, unlike America has to be deal with in quiet back-door deals. American political mentality is that public conflict works.
58:45 – Funny story about Russian-Jewish oligarchs dancing.
59:20 – Boasting about Chabad’s influence in Russia and independence from Western Jewish organization.